H O M E P A I N T I N G W O R K S on P A P E R P R E S S B I O C O N T A C T


“Vera Klement is an octogenarian kid, with the knowledge, wisdom and talent of her years and the energy, output and enthusiasm of someone a quarter of her age. She is a remarkably gifted painter whose work continues to grow — as is apparent in her show opening tonight at Zolla/Lieberman. Her sectioned paintings are like symphonies of self-contained movements that contribute to a larger whole. The poignant beauty of her work references literature, history and us.”
Paul Klein, Art advocate, The Huffington Post
The Power of Art, The Huffington Post, May 11, 2012

“Vera Klement’s art matters because life matters... Artists such as Vera Klement ask in their art what perhaps more of us should ask in our lives — why are we here, what does my place in the world mean, what are these things that I feel, what is my relationship to nature, what is this rapture and despair, how can I make sense of history and culture, how is my journey through life both unique and part of some larger process?”

“....it is the dignity of her search that we celebrate in an exhibition such as this, the bursts of self-knowledge and truth embedded in these images, the hard-won moments of revelation they offer us, their gift of letting us touch another human mind...”

James Yood, Visiting Professor of Art History, Theory & Criticism and Director, New Arts Journalism Program, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Contemporary Art Critic, Artforum magazine, catalog essay, Paint into Icon: Vera Klement Paintings from 1994 – 2008
Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL  Oct 17, 2008 – Jan 4, 2009

“...Klement recognizes the mediumistic role of the artist through which art passes into existence. She also senses that this occurs when circumstances are right, and she recognizes that she “sets the stage” for it to happen in her multiple image works, by following thought’s dictation in the primary image; by ignoring those anxieties which devil one to “solve” a work rationally, but forces herself to wait for a secondary image — within her specific requirements — to present itself...

...Where earlier works were about unity within diversity of related parts, the new works are more risky, and seem closer to the hallucinatory poetry of a Magritte, an Arthur Rimbaud, or a Lautréamont...”

Gerald Nordland, author, former director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art among others: Vera Klement, The Recent Paintings, catalog essay, 2001

“...as ever, Klement proceeds from the premise that one image added to another does not give just two but a distinct third entity that is less seen than felt...

“...the 2006 painting (The Stones of Camargo) also has the most components of any in recent memory. Klement juggles no fewer than 13 images, which include representations of heads, leaves and feet in addition to abstract passages, one evoking a Barnett Newman “zip.” All are held in balance as associations multiply and reverberate. It is a thrilling performance.”

Alan Artner, art review, The Chicago Tribune, January 12, 2007

“...This must be what it is like to be a painterly painter. This is what it must be like to be Vera Klement. Swinging back and forth between color, pattern, texture, contrast and the construction of an image, the return to color and pattern, being seduced by the viscous pigments and the textures they can create, the furrows, the hills and valleys, the sweeping washes, and returning to the creation of an image, a story, a state where emotions hang suspended, captured in line and color and texture and shapes...”
Lynne Warren, Curator, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, catalog essay “Unnamable, The Paintings of Vera Klement” for the exhibition, Vera Klement, Paintings 1991 – 2004, at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedalia, Missouri, 2004/05

“...the absolute centrality of her images, her profound engagement with her materials, and the inseparable connection between paint and the most crucial aspect of Being constitute her signature. In the best tradition of Western painting, and with all the gusto of the last half of the twentieth century, Vera Klement truly revels in paint and its processes, giving us undeniably powerful visions to hold onto.”
Gregory G. Knight, Chief curator and head of the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Chicago Cultural Center. Curatorial catalog essay Painter par Excellence: Vera Klement paintings 1965 – 1998, a retrospective at the Chicago Cultural Center, 1999

“...Subject matter and style converge with a rare poignancy and resonance in Vera Klement’s poem-paintings, as I call her pictures.”

“...Klement gives us, in singular imaginative moments, sensations of falling, loss, death: radical bleakness — from which we are rescued by radiant color. Its presence transforms the canvas, filling its emptiness with grace: unexpectedly, the desert light of the canvas becomes gnostic, suggesting that salvation can be created out of — come out of — nothing...”

“...Rooted in historical awareness of human misery, Klement’s poem-paintings rise to the mystical heights of moral and existential myth, like prayers.”

Donald Kuspit, author, critic, art historian, Professor, State University of New York, Stony Brook, from the catalog essay Vera Klement’s Poem-Paintings, 1997 

“In love with the palpable materiality of objects, Vera Klement celebrates their “thingness” in lush paintings that are also richly metaphorical, elegiac yet joyous. In all her work, we are struck by the impressive substance of paint thickly and expertly applied as well as by the emphatically sculptural presence of the things paint describes...”

“...The felt identification with nature understood by German Romantic painters as Identitätsphilosophie has special poignancy for this artist whose exile from her original homeland continues to inform her worldview...”

Sue Taylor, author, critic, contributing editor of Art in America, Professor of Art History, Portland State University, Oregon, catalog essay “Vera Klement: Things Made Mythic” for Vera Klement, Paintings 1965 – 1998 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 1999

“Klement thematizes a central paradox for her work and the entire enterprise of contemporary painting — the impossibility of depiction...”

“Klement’s vision, now mature and exquisite in its artistic control, can afford to present unfinished narratives; she depicts disparate components from land and sea and celebrates situations where everything is out of its element.”

“...The grand trees are steadfast sentinels, signs of endurance and witnesses to the joy of these visible coincidences that appear like allegories of subjectivity from the artist’s generous imagination.”
Judith Russi Kirshner, Critic, curator and Dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois, Chicago, catalog essay, Brody’s Gallery, Washington D.C. 1992

“...Throughout her artistic life Klement has remembered. She has looked back, ransacked her past, searched and unconsciously retrieved, in order to embody a present. Or a presence...”

“...It is rare to find a painter who has followed so affectionately, so cogently an inherent feeling for continuity; who can take a tradition (the near tradition of the Abstract Expressionists) and work out of it into fresh territory. Klement has developed a clear voice full of resonances...”
Dore Ashton, author, critic, art historian, Professor, the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, New York, NY, catalog essay “Vera Klement: A Retrospective 1953 – 1986” The Renaissance Society, The University of Chicago, 1987, and art review, “Two part Connection: Vera Klement’s Painting” Arts Magazine, March 1984

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